The Batumi Neptune
Not everyone knows that Bologna’s Neptune has several replicas around the world.
In the small town in California, Palos Verdes Estate, not far from Santa Monica – there is a perfect copy of the fountain by Giambologna, scale 2:3.
The idea came to a local architect by the name of Chas H. Cheney in 1930. He was an enthusiast of Italian art and he chose to decorate the small town with replicas of famous artwork from the “Bel Paese”.
Today the fountain that graces Malaga Cove Plaza is actually a replica of the original that was destroyed by vandals in 1969. The only difference between the first and second fountain is a fig leaf that artfully covers the god’s genitals.
The fact that this detail had not been included in the original fountain had been a source for scandal in the small town.
The Fountain of Neptune is now a symbol of the Californian town and it fits in perfectly amongst the Hispanic architecture of the downtown area, the open air cafés in the square and the Malaga Cove Library.
Another perfect copy of our Neptune Fountain is in Belgium, near the Flemish artist Giambologna’s birthplace (Giambologna is actually the Italianized nickname for Jean de Boulogne).
The Belgian King Leopold II, while visiting Bologna was enchanted by the perfection of the statue and had an exact reproduction made to place near the royal castle in the town of Laeken– a suburb of Brussels.
The bronze copy was cast in 1903 by Giorgio Sangiorgi and it cost the king almost 8 million francs.
Much more recently, a copy was erected in Georgia the important Black Sea port, Batumi. The Georgian Neptune was cast in 2010 and was entirely gold-plated the following year. The fountain is located in the very heart of the city in Rustaveli Square, across from the Batumi Batumi Drama Theater and the casino.